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General Chat Thread, Trouble at RM? in General; Originally Posted by localzuk The definition of anecdotal evidence is basically a single account of an event. Its terrible that ...
  1. #46

    MK-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The definition of anecdotal evidence is basically a single account of an event. Its terrible that people have bad experiences with their employers and it should not happen, but the simple fact is one person's experience is not enough to determine that an entire company is bad. I had a bad experience in a Post Office queue once, does that mean that the Post Office are bad for everyone? I had a bad experience with a couple of police officers a few years ago, does that mean that all police officers are corrupt?
    OK give me a few mins while I call up our team of solicitors to get cracking on this for you.......
    Why ask for evidence if even if I were to produce it you would dismiss it as anecdotal. You asked why someone thought RM was bad, I gave my opinion why. Now I need to swear to a jury of my peers and write a signed confession just for you to accept it.

    I'll have to go along with @Flatpackhamster here, this will go nowhere. I have personal experience of RM, certain employees there, their solicitors, their actions towards myself and the school I work at and the meetings between all mentioned and our solicitors. Personally I don't need any more proof to know I dislike the company, the way they act and the way they treat customers.
    If others like the company, superb, that is personal choice and I have nothing against that, but I will not be drawn into discussion as to why I feel they are bad

  2. #47

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK-2 View Post
    OK give me a few mins while I call up our team of solicitors to get cracking on this for you.......
    Why ask for evidence if even if I were to produce it you would dismiss it as anecdotal. You asked why someone thought RM was bad, I gave my opinion why. Now I need to swear to a jury of my peers and write a signed confession just for you to accept it.

    I'll have to go along with @Flatpackhamster here, this will go nowhere. I have personal experience of RM, certain employees there, their solicitors, their actions towards myself and the school I work at and the meetings between all mentioned and our solicitors. Personally I don't need any more proof to know I dislike the company, the way they act and the way they treat customers.
    If others like the company, superb, that is personal choice and I have nothing against that, but I will not be drawn into discussion as to why I feel they are bad
    Way to select just one part of my post. My comments were originally aimed at the 'monopoly', 'abusing their position' and 'handed BSF'... Personally, I'm not a fan of RM. Their hardware is overpriced, their software is not useful to me etc. It doesn't mean I can go around claiming they've basically engaged in illegal behaviour!!!

    Do people think it is acceptable to make wide-sweeping statements about companies stating that they've engaged in illegal activities then?

  3. #48
    EdWhittaker's Avatar
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    Ding, ding. End of round one!
    Look, I think you've all got some fair points. Localzuk is right about not making sweeping statements - except about Crapita (joke, joke!!). It's inevitable than customer experience will vary when dealing with a large organisation. Other people may have bad feeling towards the company because their personal experience. On the subject of court cases and evidence; personally speaking I'm mad about losing a customer last term due to a certain IT provider blaming us for their failure. But small companies like us just have to swallow that and get on, 'cos we can't afford to take people to court.

  4. #49

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Oooooh did someone say Cra.... oh, no, best not

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatpackhamster View Post
    Yes, perhaps they really were just the very best in every way. Although I'm not sure how to square they with my experience, and the experience of every person I've ever spoken to, who has hated every single thing RM ever released.

    Could it be that there's rather going on than simple 'RM are really good'?
    I have to admit everyone I have spoken to hates RM but we have had nothing but good experience with them. The price is not always the best but the customerís service has been excellent for us. One of our RMís failed and what impressed me were no stupid questions on the phone, they accepted my diagnosis and sent an engineer out first thing the next morning with parts to fix the PC. This is without spending extra on support contracts, we just buy base units off them. Itís rare I need RMís help but when I have the support staff have been excellent.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    ahhh that would be who I am confusing them with they Psydii, my apologies!

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    Most of us have seen or heard of good and bad experiences from large firms, whether RM, Capita, Serco, Pearson, etc, etc ... there are lots of business practices that firms use which are not nice for the individual but are good for the firm ... and the ethics behind that is something for lengthy discussion around capitalism, the role of unions, the state funding of corporate entities compared to state ownership ...

    As for what RM do for schools ... I have asked several times if people can come up with good and flexible solutions where schools can replace RM (or other middleware) for vanilla systems and not increase the amount of support that is required (or if they do it does not end up costing more than the middleware solutions themselves), for examples of how this can be replicated by using Open Source offerings ... and also making sure it does not negatively impact on the educational use of IT in a school.

    Still waiting ...

    The hardware is pretty good ... it does tend to be longer lasting than Dell / HP kit in schools because it is built to take a certain amount ... but the need for that will vary from school to school ... and in some schools they are still not robust enough. This is not the fault of RM, but the fact that there is a *lot* of damage in some schools. Most of the time when I hear schools moaning about RM costing too much it is because they have not given a good description of what they want or need and so get a slightly inflated option, which I also see being done by a good half dozen other firms. I am not saying it is right, but to single out one firm is not fair ... and when someone who is reasonably knowledgable questions the quote (or clarifies the requirements) then they do come back with pretty good offers ... and I know of other firms who still try to pull a fast one.

    RM will not go out of business ... they are going to struggle and have to change / adapt ... but they have done that before. They did it to take on BSF bids and become an MSP ... they have done it before ... they will do it again. Other firms which could not adapt will get snapped up by those who can, or will go under and the firms left will take their business. For schools ... if CC3/4 was to disappear, would schools find it easy to move on? I think they could ... but it would be a struggle ... would have a huge cost implication ... will result in problems in the classroom ... and so whilst people might want RM the firm to curl up and die ... it is not a good thing for schools. They are not a monopoly ... but their user base is so large that it will be an issue if they suddenly went ... but I don't think that would happen anyway.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Quite frankly they've been such a presence in schools for so many years now it would be a terrible thing if they disappeared. Besides which, it's not like anyone is *forced* to use their hardware or services. I've had hardware prices from RM that were miles below anyone else, and levels of service I would only expect from a small company. I've also seen the flipside on both of those.
    Let's look at it this way. Whilst RM is in existence, schools have more choice and someone else to keep competition up. That means lower prices from other providers.

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  10. #54

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    As others have said this is nothing new RM are simply battening down the hatches as the along with the death of BSF they know full well that school budgets are getting tighter and i think a refocus on core business will benefit all.
    Despite my grievances with RM i wouldnt wish job loses on anyone in this current climate.

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    I followed this story and the share price dive over the summer and first part of the autumn term, and yes it feels like ancient history now. Only point I haven't read here that was in some RM official statement they said they'd be keeping in-house h/w production under review, see how the market goes, because of the overheads for that capability... wasn't sure whether that meant servers, workstations, or both. Also a couple of financial analyst articles last year suggested RM were a little slow reacting to the brave new world , which considering all that BSF/HT/other money went away the *previous* summer seemed like screamingly obvious fair comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I have asked several times if people can come up with good and flexible solutions where schools can replace RM (or other middleware) for vanilla systems and not increase the amount of support <snip> Still waiting ...
    One answer, possibly *the answer* is that "people" definitely can, but if you're like me then such solutions are part of what pays the wages and there is no incentive to just give away a serious investment in time/expertise to your competitors. Ignoring that, there is still project documentation/maintenance/support/updates which for a "good and flexible" solution would be massive undertaking. The odd freebie app is one thing, a decent freebie off-the-shelf *system* is another league.

    if CC3/4 was to disappear, would schools find it easy to move on? I think they could ... but it would be a struggle ... would have a huge cost implication
    Agree that it's inconceivable but since we're playing....

    In both cases you would likely be able to get support from somewhere, systems will mostly keep working and the impact would be gradual. CC3 has gotten by for 2 -3 years without any RM development, just MS sec-fixes, which aren't that hard to do i.e. would carry on working until schools would have had move to something else regardless. CC4 is the one dependant on lots of proprietory RM code and although it's largely stable now, if that code or the database at it's heart breaks, then I think you and any support provider could be in serious trouble... but I think the majority would likely keep working well enough for long enough for changes to happen as part of the natural system life-cycle i.e. not an expensive, abrupt change.

    The eventual, significant loss would be the relative consistency we get across all those CCx systems... might not be the most brilliant standard possible, but they're OK and a world away from the worst I've seen in "vanilla" land... there are exceptions, but hell tends to be other folk's d-i-y systems.

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